"A Town like Alice" is the real heart of Australia, a thousand miles from Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south. It is a small town of almost 29,000 people, along the usually dry Todd River, with the MacDonnel Ranges as a backdrop. The site where it now stands is known as Mparntwe to the traditional Aboriginal inhabitants, the Arrernte, who probably have been there for around 50,000 years, in an arid environment with an average summer temperature of around 37”ĘC while in winter it can average as low as 7.5”ĘC.
The town was laid out in 1888 not far from the Telegraph Station, built near a spring; this spring was named after Alice, the wife of Charles Todd who completed the overland telegraph line from Port Augusta to Darwin in 1872. The town was first called Stuart, after the explorer John McDouall Stuart, but got its present name in 1933.
"The Alice", as it is often referred to, is the centre for tourists that visit the impressive scenery in the surrounding area; from here camel safaris may be organised to the nature spots nearby. The town also remains the supply depot of the cattle stations, mines and Aboriginal communities in the vicinity. It has all amenities that are to be expected of a modern town.